I hope the woke Olympics is a money losing preposition for NBC.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Olympics. Sure, there are some events I do enjoy – a lot of the track and field events, gymnastics, swimming – but just about the only thing I’m less interested in than the summer Olympics is the winter Olympics (with the exception of hockey). Still, I paid attention and watched…in the past. This year holds no interest for me.
It’s not because I’ve lost interest in the events I used to enjoy, nor is it that I’m disinterested in the weird events late night Olympics coverage offers. And it’s not that I don’t have the national pride I used to have, it’s that the athletes don’t.
I know that’s not true for all athletes, or even most, but one skunk ruins an entire garden party. And there will be a lot of skunks at this Olympics.
I don’t want to watch because I know there will be a woke-off between many of the medal winners, a secondary contest to be the most obnoxious left-wing d-bag who gets the most media attention. With NBC broadcasting the games, there really couldn’t be any other way.
The first person to raise a fist, take a knee, or turn their back on the flag during a medal ceremony will become an obsession for NBC, then the rest of the media. Then it’s game on as the rest of the media scrambles to book that person too. After that, every little social justice warrior wannabe in the games will start protesting, trying to outdo whatever was done before.
Since winning a medal is too rare, and there’s far too much attention and money in making a spectacle of themselves in the name of some leftist cause, the protests will begin to infiltrate the games themselves, not just the ceremonies. Everything will become the pregame of women’s soccer, which is why I’m actively hoping they lose another game and don’t make the medal round.
I don’t like rooting against my country’s team, nor do I revel in actively avoiding watching as much as possible. I’d much rather have casual indifference than the passionate indifference currently ruling my viewing habits. But this is the world the left has created, one in which everything is political because politics has been made into everything.
I feel badly for the Olympians who simply want to represent our country and do their best, those who compete in sports where no sponsor dollars will ever make it to. They are the ones being hurt long term, and they are the only ones who are seemingly keeping the Olympic Spirit alive. It’s always the normal people who suffer when liberals get their way.
So why would I watch that? Why would anyone watch that? It’s the professionalization of the college campus, and NBC is excited to broadcast it to the world. I sure as hell don’t want to watch that.
That NBC is getting horrible ratings from the start is a great feeling, at least to me. The opening ceremony got the lowest TV ratings in 33 years, and I’d bet dollars to donuts it’s for the very reason I’ve laid out here.
That this could hurt NBC and its parent company, the equally despicable Comcast, is an added bonus. The fortune they laid out for the broadcast rights not coming back, having to refund some planned outlays or advertisers pulling their spots because the network isn’t meeting their performance guarantees would be hilarious and glorious.
I still want the United States to win, and I’ll catch highlights online and even a couple of events on TV, but I will make a point of none of it. I won’t search to see when events I’m interested in are on or make any attempt to see them live. I could not care less.
Liberals, who started with this garbage long before the Olympics began, have been waiting for this moment since last year. That extra anticipation caused by the pandemic delay has only made things worse. I don’t want to watch, and I hope each and every one of those athletes who’ve promised to “speak out” lose. I don’t care what their cause is, I couldn’t give less of a damn what they care about, if they can’t rise to the occasion and put country first, and not be left-wing jackals for 5 minutes in their miserable lives, I hope they lose and never get the chance in the first place.
U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Before I begin to pontificate on why revolvers suck, let me substantiate my claims why adding that I both own several wheel-guns, and have carried them for nearly a decade.
You Carry Revolvers But Hate Them?
Yes and no. I certainly don’t hate revolvers, but I’m acutely aware of both their benefits and shortcomings. See, like everything in life, there’s no free lunch – and revolvers are no exception. Because revolvers are a great tool in very specific roles, but their often-vaunted title of ‘ideal first carry gun for new shooters’ is at best, questionable.
Why? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons, but first, let’s go into why a shooter would pick a revolver in the first place.
4 Reasons Revolvers Don’t Suck
Versatility – If a shooter wants a robust firearm capable of firing any load hot enough to launch a round past the muzzle, the revolver is king – full stop. Much like the pump-action shotgun, revolvers don’t care if their ammo is loaded towards the top or bottom of SAAMI specs. Because the shooter themselves work the action, their rounds don’t have to be loaded within set specs to cycle the action. In the simplest terms, this means a shooter can load up a cylinder of super-mild .38 special rounds, or hard-hitting hard-cast 158gr .357 Magnum rounds in the same gun without worrying about reliability.
Power – Additionally, revolvers are capable of firing more powerful rounds than semi-automatic firearms relative to their size. With our current technology, no compact auto-loader can be chambered in anything approaching the muzzle-energy of a J-frame .357 Magnum snub-gun. This isn’t an issue of metallurgy, but geometry and physics. Magnum calibers are simply too physically large to fit in the magazine of a handgun that would still be small enough to reasonably conceal. Moreover, big-bore hunting revolvers in massive calibers like 454 Casull are capable of producing rifle-like levels of ballistic energy in a relatively small package.
Accuracy – Another boon of wheel-guns is their accuracy. Since the barrel is fixed, revolvers tend to be more accurate than automatics of the same size. Though since we’re talking primarily about concealed carry, the benefits of this are negligible since our targets tend to be fairly close.
Durability – Lastly, revolvers are generally more durable than auto-loaders. Since their only moving component is the cylinder – which is surrounded by a robust frame – it’s much more difficult to damage a revolver in a way that affects its functionality. And if we’re talking about concealed carry guns, most snub-nosed revolvers utilize a simple notch for a rear sight that’s integral to the frame and either a pinned and dovetailed front sight post, or a blade permanently affixed to the barrel. In practical terms, this means it’s vastly more difficult to damage the sights to the point where they aren’t zeroed properly.
But wait, you might be asking, these features all sound awesome. Would these reasons alone make a revolver ideal for concealed carry?
Yes – in the right hands, but also no, because the sacrifices made by carrying a revolver don’t always outweigh the benefits of an auto-loader.
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Carry a Revolver
Capacity – I’m going to address the big one first. With the proliferation of reliable, ultra-compact pistols in 9mm feeding from ever-increasing capacity magazines, the five and six-round snub nose revolver is at a serious disadvantage. Yes, I’m aware that according to FBI statistics, the average number of rounds fired in a defensive scenario is a scant two, but there are several things wrong with using that stat to pick a defensive weapon. First off, you’re not Dirty Harry. A stone-cold bad-ass keeping your cool like there’s ice in your veins in a potentially deadly encounter with a bad guy. You’re likely scared out of your mind with adrenaline coursing through your veins. Unless you train every single day, you’re not going to be likely to place your rounds perfectly on target. But even if you are, bullets and physics are strange and your attacker might be hopped up on enough stimulants to fight through pain and blood loss until they lose consciousness. Finally, what if you’re firing more than one assailant? Do you really want to be restricted in your firearm’s capacity? In all of these scenarios, the increased capacity of a semi-automatic firearm is objectively superior.
Ease of Use – This was a major selling-point of six-guns in the past to inexperienced, or physically weaker shooters. To fire a revolver, a shooter simply pulls the trigger. When the trigger goes, ‘click’ instead of ‘boom’ they open the cylinder, eject the spend casings, put fresh rounds in, close the cylinder and start pulling the trigger again. But with the advent of firearms like the S&W EZ9 Pistol, #ad racking the slide of an automatic requires substantially less strength. Yes, it will require a little more training, but since few of these compact auto-loaders feature a manual safety lever, shooters simply need to aim and squeeze the trigger to dispense high-speed lead. But most of all, these diminutive auto-loaders don’t suffer from the long, often-heavy DAO triggers that purpose-built hammerless snubs do. So while they might be a little more difficult to load, their better triggers promote more accurate shooting, which in turn leads to stopping a dangerous threat sooner.
Speed – While reloading a revolver can be done fairly quickly (or extremely quickly by professionals) for everyone else who doesn’t have 10,000+ hours of training on a revolver, inserting a fresh magazine is roughly four times faster and delivers nearly twice as many rounds in the process. Before you jump on me about speed-strips, speed-loaders, or moon-clips, even these don’t mitigate the difference in speed of simply inserting a new magazine.
Recoil – A More accurate header would be Recoil-to-Power-Ratio, but brevity is the soul of wit, and it doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way. But I digress, semi-automatic firearms have less felt recoil than revolvers of comparable size firing rounds of equivalent ballistic energy. This is true primarily for two major reasons. The first is the fact that an automatic firearm siphons some of the expanding gas of the detonating round to propel the slide rearward. This spring-loaded slide dampens some of the recoil impulses before they impart on the shooter’s hand. The second reason is due to a revolver’s relatively high bore axis. This is a consequence of a revolver’s fundamental design and requires a fairly in-depth explanation to fully understand. But suffice to say, semi-automatic pistols align the recoil impulse better with the shooter’s wrist and arm, giving it less leverage against your wrist, making the recoil feel less substantial.
Verdict – Do Revolvers Suck?
In general, no, revolvers don’t suck. But they are definitely a second-rate choice in my opinion for a concealed carry pistol. With so many affordable, reliable 9mm compact handguns on the market today, there’s basically no compelling reason to pick a wheel gun for concealed carry. That said if you want a potent reliable hunting option, or simply a big-bore blaster strapped to your hip in case of wild boar or bears, the revolver is tough to top. But for the foreseeable future, I’ll keep my revolvers in the safe, and my SIG P365 handgun in my waistband when venturing out.
Van T. Barfoot was a true war hero, whose exploits saved many of his comrades’ lives and even those of the enemies he captured. He continued on in the military after WWII and eventually fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, retiring at the rank of colonel. For his extraordinary acts of valor during WWII, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest award.
Barfoot was born as Van Thurman Barfoot on the 15th of June 1919 in Edinburg, Mississippi. He would later change his name to Van Thomas Barfoot. Raised on a farm alongside eight siblings, Barfoot’s beginnings were rather humble.
As his grandmother was Choctaw (a Native American people), he was eligible to join the nation, but his parents did not enroll him.
Barfoot’s early military career
A lifelong patriot, Barfoot enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1940, before the U.S. had even entered the war, and before conscription began. He completed his training and first served in the 1st Infantry Division. By the time the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Barfoot had already reached the rank of sergeant.
He was moved to the Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet in Quantico, Virginia, until 1943, when the unit was decommissioned. Barfoot was then transferred to the 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.
Barfoot and the 45th Infantry Division were shipped to Europe in June of 1943 and began preparations for the invasion of Sicily. The division was part of the spearhead in the assault on the island, supported by the 505th Parachute Regiment. Around this time, Adolf Hitler decided to reduce activities at the Battle of Kursk in part to divert forces to reinforce Italy.
By early August, the 45th Infantry Division was withdrawn from frontline duties for rest, having fought valiantly through Sicily. In September 1943, the 45th Infantry Division was involved in Operation Avalanche, the invasion of Salerno, Italy. After Salerno, they once again fought a tough, slow, and difficult fight at Anzio.
Here, Barfoot would display immense feats of courage and bravery.
Barfoot’s Medal of Honor
After he and his comrades reached the Italian town of Carano, they set up defenses. While he was here, Barfoot had patrolled the area to assess German lines and their defenses. Soon after, he and his unit were involved in an attack against the German lines.
Barfoot, who knew the area and its defenses well thanks to his patrols, requested to lead his own squad into battle. Aware of a minefield ahead, Barfoot proceeded alone. He crawled past the minefield and up to a German machine-gun position, which he attacked with a hand grenade.
According to Barfoot’s Medal of Honor citation, he “crawled to the proximity of one machine-gun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing two and wounding three Germans.”
After this he made his way to a second machine gun, which he also attacked, killing two with his Thompson submachine gun and capturing a further three. The next machine gun nest surrendered to Barfoot immediately, as well as other enemy troops nearby.
“Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17.”
In these actions, he captured 17 and killed eight of his enemy.
A while later on the same day, after Barfoot had regrouped with his men, the Germans launched a counterattack aided by fearsome Tiger I tanks.
His citation said: “Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of three advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other two changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed three of them with his tommy gun.”
As if this weren’t enough, Barfoot then ran behind enemy lines and disabled an enemy field gun with explosives. On his way back, the exhausted Barfoot encountered two severely wounded comrades. He helped them both back to his position, which was 1,700 feet away.
For these actions, Barfoot was awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony held in France, with his fellow soldiers in attendance.
After fighting through the Korean War and Vietnam War, Barfoot returned home and moved to Virginia, where he would live a relatively quiet life.
He sprung into the media in 2009 when the homeowners’ association (HOA) where he lived ordered him to remove a 21-foot flagpole he used to fly the American flag from. The HOA threatened to take Barfoot to court if their order was not obeyed.
The situation went viral on news outlets and across social media, with large numbers of people outraged by the demands. After a huge amount of backlash, the HOA dropped their order, settling the dispute.
The Medal of Honor recipient died in 2012 after a fall in his home in Henrico County, Virginia. He was aged 92.
The next time I am at Mickey D’s I will give this a try.
McDonald’s denies the existence of an official secret menu, but some locations do offer special ordering hacks to customers in the know. TikTok user Orlando Johnson highlighted one of the fast food chain’s best-kept secrets in a recent video. As Newsweek reports, your order of French fries from McDonald’s may come with a free refill: All you have to do is ask for it.
In the video, posted under the username itsosoprodigy, a customer is delighted when a McDonald’s worker agrees to fill his empty fry carton free of charge. Many users shared similar experiences in the comments, but it’s unclear whether the complimentary refills are an official policy.
While some commenters claimed that the practice is standard across the company, others say it depends on who’s working behind the counter. McDonald’s restaurants cook more fries than they can serve on any given day, and some workers may be happy to make sure they don’t go to waste. The hack is also worth trying at different chains. Determined to test if the hack was a fluke, Johnson tried the same order at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Wendy’s. Free fry refills were provided at both restaurants.
Asking for a fry refill is a lot less complicated than many of the unofficial McDonald’s orders purported online. Some secret menu items customers have ordered from the fast food chain include a grilled cheese sandwich, an eight-patty “Monster Mac,” and a “Land, Sea, and Air Burger” with a beef patty, chicken patty, and fish filet. Like the free fries, these items aren’t advertised by the company, so while you can try ordering them, don’t argue with the cashier if they give you a confused stare in response.
Violent crime is down in the city this year, according to Pasadena police Chief John Perez, but the alarming number of guns seized to-date by officers has caught the attention of local leaders, who asked to see a more detailed report on the matter.
“Many of these guns are what you would consider registered to somebody. The track record of these guns are very interesting because of straw purchases, which means people sell them to one another without any legal process,” Perez said.
Uh, no. That’s not what the term “straw purchase” means. Those may be illegal gun sales in states with universal background checks, but they’re not straw buys.
A straw purchase is when someone buys a firearm for another who generally cannot purchase a gun for themselves. This is an act that’s illegal in all 50 states and all U.S. territories.
Buying and selling of firearms without undergoing a background check is something else entirely, and you’d think a police chief in a city of over 140,000 people would understand this.
If he doesn’t, then just who in the hell does?
It’s especially frustrating because he follows up with this:
“So, there are many times that the weapons are in fact missing from people’s homes, and when we contact them, they didn’t know they were stolen or they were unreported in burglaries,” Perez said. “It runs the gamut in different categories.”
If they’re stolen guns, then they can’t be the result of a straw buy. He clearly seems to grasp that many of these guns are stolen firearms. That’s an important point that we need to see discussed more, especially by law enforcement.
But it doesn’t help if a police chief of a decent size city muddies the issue by simply not understanding what we’re talking about here.
Of course, this makes me wonder how much of this push by the Biden administration is because they don’t understand what a straw buy is or not. Granted, this is President Joe Biden we’re talking about here. I’m not sure he knows what day of the week it is, much less what a straw buy is or isn’t.
Still, that might explain the push to combat something that accounts for only a small number of firearms used in criminal acts.
After all, there’s not much else that explains this odd focus on straw purchases all of a sudden.
Of course, the question then becomes just how many police chiefs in the country also aren’t aware of what a straw buy is. Maybe that’s why there are so few prosecutions for these things?
If I didn’t have enough reasons to weep for our nation’s future, this would be enough.
Gun control in the UK like here in the United States is a major failure.
Liberals here and in the UK are too stupid to understand that gun control laws do not and will not stop punks from getting a gun was as the law biding UK and US citizens are ones that get hurt and killed because of gun control laws.
It seems like pretty much any Monday over the last year will feature at least one report of a shooting at some party somewhere in the United States. Parties seem to have become a favorite target of gang members and really anyone else who is holding a grudge.
Incidents like those prompt many gun control advocates to step up their efforts. They want more stringent gun control and these shootings are why. After all, in their minds, with sufficient gun control, these kinds of things will come to an end, right?
Multiple people have been hospitalised following shooting at an engagement party in inner-city Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) reported “a number of people presenting themselves at hospital with apparent gunshot wounds” shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday following an incident in the Longsight area of the multicultural city.
“Four people attended hospital in total, one man aged 54 is being treated for serious injuries to his arm and another 48-year-old man is in a serious condition and has undergone surgery,” the force confirmed in an official statement.
“A 27-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl were also injured, it is unclear whether this is a result of a gunshot, debris from the discharge or from the disturbance at the scene,” they added, noting that another 16-year-old has been discharged from hospital.
While details of the incident are still emerging, GMP have disclosed that “It appears the group had been at an engagement party at an address on Birch Hall Lane in Longsight where a large amount of people had gathered,” and that it seems that “at some point, shortly before 1 a.m. an altercation took place, possibly in the garden, and it’s been reported five gun shots were fired.”
The force also “received a report of a car on its roof on Thoresway Road, Longsight” shortly before 2 a.m. but is yet to establish a definitive link between this discovery and the shooting.
Now, let’s remember that the UK has some pretty strict gun control laws in place. Private ownership of firearms exists, but might as well not considering all the rules revolving around having them. No one has ready access to a firearm lawfully, which is precisely what gun control activists seem to want here in the United States.
Fat lot of good it did, too.
See, what people need to understand is that gun control laws don’t disarm criminals. It never has. They’re going to get firearms no matter what you try, as evidenced by what just happened in this instance. Someone got a gun and had it on their person for whatever reason. It’s highly unlikely they did so lawfully since that kind of thing just doesn’t happen in the UK.
Now, people were shot and no one had any opportunity to defend themselves. It remains to be seen whether they’d have been able to anyway, but they were denied the opportunity to even try.
That’s where UK-style gun control will take us. It won’t stop shootings. It’ll just make damn sure the only people bleeding are those targeted by the criminals. It doesn’t stop bad guys, it stops anyone they cross from being able to fight back.
England has pretty much every advantage you can name. They’re an island without easy access to most other nations. The borders they share are part of the same united kingdom with basically the same laws. Access to the island is relatively limited with only one real tunnel between them and the mainland. Even there, other nations have similar gun laws which are enforced as well as any government can.
If they can’t keep guns out, what makes you think we’d be able to do it with a porous southern border that has allowed drugs and people to flow across for decades?
No, if this shooting does anything, it should tell people just how gun control simply doesn’t work as advertised.
Robert E. Simanek is a retired U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor recipient who earned the nation’s highest award when he jumped on a grenade during the Korean War. Now, the USS Robert Simanek, an expeditionary mobile base will be named in his honor.
Simanek was born in Detroit, Michigan, on April 26, 1930. He worked for the Ford Motor Company and General Motors after he had graduated from high school. Simanek was one of four brothers, two of whom served in WWII. Because of this, he knew he was destined to join the military.
In 1951, his time came, and he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Simanek went through boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina, which he said was a “rude awakening” for what he was getting himself into, but would later realize the training helped him survive in combat.
He completed more training at Camp Pendleton, California, before being shipped out to Korea in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
On August 17, 1952, Simanek received orders to go on a morning patrol. Although he didn’t know it, his life would change forever on that day.
Simanek was not pleased about the patrol, as he had been patrolling throughout the night and didn’t get any sleep. However, the area had was headed to, Outpost Irene, was known for a lack of activity.
“I had been to the outpost before and thought of it as a somewhat vacation because no action had ever been there all the time I’d been on that particular part of the line,” he said. “So, I took an old Readers’ Digest and a can of precious beer in my big back pocket and thought I was really going to have a relaxing situation. It didn’t turn out that way.”
Simanek and his fellow Marines were heading towards the outpost in single file when the entire area erupted into gunfire and explosions. One Marine was killed immediately, forcing Simanek and five others to hightail it back the way they came and jump into a small trench. One of the Marines had been hit in the chest but survived. Simanek fired a burst of his weapon into two Chinese soldiers nearby.
With the Marines pinned down in the trench, the Chinese troops began throwing grenades at their position. After a failed attempt at diverting the enemy’s fire, two grenades landed in the trench. Simanek kicked away the first, but, making the judgment he did not have the time to kick away the second, he jumped onto the grenade.
His body absorbed the blast, saving the lives of the men around him.
“It was training, it wasn’t any mental decision on my part at all,” he said. “It was an automatic thing pushed by somebody.”
Miraculously, Simanek actually survived the blast.
“Somehow I managed to use the right part of my body that didn’t hurt me that much.”
Not only did he survive, but he stayed in the fight, radioing a tank for help. When the tank arrived, Simanek and his fellow Marines used the opportunity to escape. Two comrades helped Simanek, but a blast from the friendly tank accidentally injured the two men, to the extent where they were unable to carry him.
“The idea that they couldn’t carry me — it was no doubt the best thing to do for them to get going,” he said.
Now alone, Simanek dragged himself away from the battle into the hands of friendly troops, who requested a helicopter evacuation.
“I enjoyed that helicopter ride so much,” he said. “I just couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. But then, I’d had a shot in the arm, and that sort of gave me a little extra sense of beauty.”
The end of his military career
His wounds were tended to onboard the USS Haven in Japan, but he was sent back to the United States soon after.
Around a year later, Simanek was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on October 27, 1953. After he had recovered from his wounds, Simanek returned to civilian life, graduating from Michigan State University, marrying, having children, and working a career in business until 1992 when he retired.
Even though to us his exploits are the tales of a brave, selfless war hero, to Simanek, they were some of the darkest moments in his life. Similarly to many other veterans, the Medal of Honor takes a heavy toll on Simanek.
“One of the hardest things about the medal is that you’re really not allowed to forget about it,” he said. “People will, in a good meaningful way of trying to compliment you, bring about some memories that maybe you’d like to get rid of.”
I can remember a time when there were guns in pickup trucks belonging to both teachers and students and nobody was murdered by these guns.
Students and teachers were familiar firearms and knew about gun safety.
It is time for gun safety to be taught in schools again.
Gun safety education is something that all Americans should be exposed to. A lot.
After all, guns are part of our society and a lot of the issue we have with regard to guns is that people don’t really know what they’re doing. While accidental shootings aren’t nearly as common as intentional shootings, there’s really no excuse for them. What’s more is that we can minimize them by teaching people how to be safe with a firearm, even if they don’t intend to ever own one.
A 12-year-old boy was killed by an accidental discharge of a handgun brought to his house by a friend in Chula Vista this month. This tragedy should make us look at how we are currently trying to combat unintentional firearm deaths, and see if it actually works. As of now, the only method that our government has come up with to help is to increase gun control.
But has that really worked? California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
I am 15 years old, and spent most of my life in a small town in Northern California before moving to Alpine. It was there, at the age of 12, that I received my hunter safety license through my local 4-H club, after safely operating firearms for quite some time.
The solution to this problem is a return to a couple of decades ago when firearm and hunter safety were taught in schools; some states are already doing it. A 2017 article by the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that then-Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had signed legislation offering $75,000 for schools that implemented a gun safety program. North Carolina state Rep. Jay Adams and Idaho state Rep. Ronald Nate proposed elective gun safety classes be introduced for schools in their states.
The author, Nate Strauch, pretty much nails it.
Right now, most Americans don’t have any firearm training. Some who served got it in the military. Others learned from their parents, but most got nothing. Meanwhile, a lot of those people are going to buy guns and some have a reason to be concerned about the lack of training. Yet rather than require it before someone can exercise their right to keep and bear arms, wouldn’t it make more sense to just make sure everyone learns it in school?
It would also demystify guns, an act that will save a lot of lives all on its own.
If people don’t grow up thinking of guns as status symbols or pathways to strength and power, then maybe a lot of people won’t seem to think respect comes at the end of a gun. That’s an awful lot of our current problem, so anything we can do to end that should be something with unanimous support.
We’d also get a lot fewer accidental shootings if people understood firearms and firearm safety.
Unfortunately, there are those in this country that seem to want those accidental shootings and want those violent encounters about respect and being “dissed.” After all, they then use those to justify gun control despite the fact that we can put an end to these actions without interfering with the rights of law-abiding Americans.
Which is a shame. We could do a lot of good by listening to this high school kid.
The members of the gold-medal-winning 1996 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team have moved on to successful lives as coaches, authors, media personalities and mothers.
When it comes to pure sports drama, few performances can surpass the one delivered by the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. After coming out swinging against their powerhouse Russian and Romanian rivals, the hometown darlings saw their once insurmountable lead almost slip away, before Kerri Strug famously stuck her vault landing on an injured ankle to give the Americans their first team gold in Olympic history.
While athletic heroes come and go in the ever-rotating competitive sports landscape, this spirited group clearly left a lasting mark on the fans who eagerly followed their media appearances and group tour in the months that followed. Most still recall the lasting image of a hobbled Strug carried to the medal stand. Here’s a look at what each one of the aptly named “Magnificent Seven” is up to now.
As the poster child of the 1996 American Olympic triumph, Strug achieved a level of celebrity that surpassed that of her teammates. She appeared on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno; rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and earned a solo spot in a touring MGM/Ice Capades production. But she quickly moved on from public life, traveling the world in a semester abroad before earning a Master’s in social psychology from Stanford University in 2002. Following a brief teaching stint, Strug settled into a longtime government position in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, and had two children with her husband, Robert Fischer. Even though she’d abandoned her vaults and floor routines in favor of running marathons, she still found time to teach her old sport through clinics—her familiar diminutive frame and high-pitched voice bringing back memories to those who witnessed her memorable Atlanta performance.
Along with delivering an electrifying performance on the uneven bars, Dominique “Awesome Dawesome” Dawes made history in ’96 as the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal, a bronze in the floor exercise. In the aftermath, she appeared in a Prince video and landed a role in a Broadway production of Grease!, before refocusing in time to claim Olympic bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games. Dawes subsequently served as president of the Women’s Sports Federation, and in 2010 accepted an offer to co-chair the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Married with four children, Dawes has followed her early stage and screen interests with various TV correspondence roles, and sought to groom new generations of talent by way of the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academy in her home state of Maryland.
Crushed by her failure to make the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, Amanda Borden nearly walked away from the sport before returning to captain the world-famous squad four years later. Her legacy secure with a balance beam jump named in her honor, the Ohio native moved on to broadcasting, and graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a degree in elementary education. After teaching for more than two years, Borden found her post-Olympic calling by opening Gold Medal Gymnastics in Tempe, Arizona, with husband Brad Cochran. She has since opened a second training center in Arizona, settled into regular gigs as a gymnastics and cheerleading commentator and learned to navigate life as a busy working mother of three.
Like her one-time training partner Borden, Jaycie Phelps also has a gymnastics maneuver named for her—albeit on the vault. And she, too, found fulfillment in the field of coaching after a series of knee injuries ended her competitive career. After joining her teammates for their induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008, the gymnast returned to her hometown of Greenfield, Indiana, to launch the 25,000-square-foot Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center. Her contributions to Greenfield have been honored with the naming of a road in her honor and the declaration of a Jaycie Phelps Day. She is married to fellow gymnastics coach Dave Marus, with whom she has two children.
Coming off an impressive haul of two silvers and three bronze medals at the 1992 Olympics, Shannon Miller added an individual gold on the balance beam to her team gold in Atlanta, and later became the first female athlete to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame twice. The Oklahoma native went on to launch the Shannon Miller Foundation in 2007 to combat childhood obesity, and then the Shannon Miller Lifestyle brand in 2010, paving the way for a busy second career as a motivational speaker, health advocate, television analyst and author. But her greatest post-Olympic challenge – and success – came when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early 2011. Miller not only beat back the illness through aggressive chemotherapy treatments, but she was also able to have a second child with husband John Falconetti in its aftermath.
The first Asian American Olympic gymnast, Amy Chow was renowned for her willingness to embrace risk on the uneven bars, a bold mindset that led to an individual silver at the Atlanta Games and a pair of moves named in her honor. The lifelong Californian went on to graduate from Stanford Medical School and pursue a career as a physician and surgeon, opening a practice in the Bay area with her husband, Jason. But she never quite shook her competitive instincts. Chow joined Dawes as one of only two ’96 alumnae on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, and when her gymnastics career ended, she turned to pole vaulting. Chow later took up diving, generating buzz about a possible 2012 Olympic berth, before determining she already had her hands full as a doctor and mother of two.
The youngest and tiniest of the Magnificent Seven, 14-year-old Dominique Moceanu fought through the lingering pain of a stress fracture to make her mark on the Atlanta Games. She followed with a gold medal in the all-around at the 1998 Goodwill Games, but her post-Olympic days brought one life-altering event after another. In 1998, Moceanu sought emancipation from her parents, and just before her father died, she learned that her younger sister had been given up for adoption. Moceanu spoke out about the psychological and physical abuses prevalent in high-level gymnastics in her 2012 memoir, Off Balance, and while she initially felt pushback for coming forward, her accounts took on new light when the crimes of team doctor Larry Nassar surfaced in 2015. By then a married mother of two, she opened Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center in 2017 with an intent to change the culture of the sport.
Executive Order 9981, one of Truman’s most important achievements, became a major catalyst for the civil rights movement.
When President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948, calling for the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces, he repudiated 170 years of officially sanctioned discrimination. Since the American Revolution, African Americans had served in the military, but almost always separately from white soldiers—and usually in menial roles.
A major achievement of the post-war civil rights movement—and of Truman’s presidency—the event marked the first time a U.S. commander in chief had used an executive order to implement a civil rights policy. It became a crucial step toward inspiring other parts of American society to accept desegregation.
Truman’s journey to signing 9981 is the story, in part, of heeding pressure from Black civil rights leaders and recognizing, pragmatically, the importance of the Black vote to his political fortunes. But it’s also the story of his overcoming his own deeply embedded racial prejudices.
Truman’s White Supremacist Roots
In 1911, when Truman was a 27-year-old corporal in the Missouri National Guard, he wrote to his future wife, Bess Wallace: “I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman… I am strongly of the opinion that negros (sic) ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America.”
Truman came by these beliefs from his upbringing in Missouri, where his grandparents had owned slaves and where 60 African Americans were lynched between 1877 and 1950, the second highest number of any state over that period outside the Deep South.
He grew up in a home that openly reviled abolitionism, Reconstruction and Abraham Lincoln. “Truman literally learned at his mother’s knee to share the South’s view of the War Between the States,” wrote William E. Leuchtenburg, a professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1991. “He also acquired an abiding belief in white supremacy.”
After the Lynchings of Black Veterans, Truman Took Action
Yet when the beatings and murders of recently returned African American World War II veterans in the South captured national attention, Truman, who assumed the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, was moved to act.
“My stomach turned over when I learned that Negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were being dumped out of army trucks in Mississippi and beaten,” Truman said. “Whatever my inclinations as a native of Missouri might have been, as president I know this is bad. I shall fight to end evils like this.”
In response to the lynchings, and under pressure from Black civil rights groups, Truman formed the President’s Committee on Civil Rights in late 1946. It produced a report, To Secure These Rights, which condemned all forms of segregation and asked for an immediate end to discrimination and segregation in all branches of the armed services.
In 1947, Truman became the first president to address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In his speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Truman said, “It is my deep conviction that we have reached a turning point in the long history of our country’s efforts to guarantee freedom and equality to all of our citizens.”
Truman Realized He Needs the Black Vote
Throughout his life, Truman made racist statements to his intimates and in private correspondence and likely never fully abandoned the attitudes of his youth. But he was an astute politician who understood the importance of the Black vote to his political fortunes. In 1940, as a U.S. Senator, he told the National Colored Democratic Association, “The Negroes’ flag is our flag, and he stands ready, just as we do, to defend it against all foes from within and without.”
Truman’s sharpening views on civil rights during his first term as president divided the Democratic Party. Conservative Southern Democrats from South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama protested the party’s civil rights plank, walking out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention. Without the white Southern vote, Truman’s chances in the general election against Republican nominee Thomas Dewey dimmed considerably.
Despite the Dixiecrat defections, Truman’s aides convinced him that a winning coalition included Black voters, whose leaders saw integration of the armed forces as a major election issue. Months before the election, 20 African American organizations, including the NAACP and the National Urban League, issued a “Declaration of Negro Voters,” which included desegregating the armed forces among its demands.
In the last days of the election, Truman made a campaign appearance in Harlem, marking the first time a U.S. president had visited the symbolic capital of Black America. Truman was lured there by Anna Arnold Hedgeman, an African American political operative who spearheaded his campaign’s Black outreach. According to Hedgeman’s biographer, Jennifer Scanlon, “Truman won the race, in a narrow margin nationally, thanks in part to the Black electorate and to Hedgeman.”
African American Leaders Dialed Up the Pressure
On March 22, 1948, Truman met with Black leaders to discuss segregation. “I can tell you the mood among Negroes of this country is that they will never bear arms again until all forms of bias and discrimination are abolished,” A. Phillip Randolph, the pioneering union organizer and civil rights leader, told the president.
At a hearing nine days later before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Randolph said, “I personally will advise Negroes to refuse to fight as slaves for a democracy they cannot possess and cannot enjoy.”
In a celebrated case taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union, Winfrid Lynn, a Black landscape gardener from New York, went to jail after he told his local draft board he would “not be compelled to serve in a unit undemocratically selected as a Negro.”
That June, Randolph informed President Truman that if he didn’t issue an executive order ending segregation in the armed forces, African Americans would resist the draft.
A month later, with an election looming and under intense pressure from civil rights leaders, Truman signed Executive Order 9981—and created the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces, popularly known as the Fahy Committee, to oversee the process.
Gradual Integration—and a Lasting Legacy
To achieve full integration, Truman needed cooperation from the military’s four branches. “I want the job done,” Truman told the committee in early 1949, “and I want it done in a way so that everyone will be happy to cooperate to get it done.”
For its part, the Army balked. “The Army is not an instrument for social evolution,” said Kenneth Royall, the Secretary of the Army, who expressed concern about the order’s adverse effect on enlistments, reenlistments and soldier morale nationwide—but especially in the South.
Truman, who would settle for nothing less than full desegregation, forced Royall into retirement after he refused to comply with the order.
It took six years to desegregate America’s armed forces. In late 1954, the deactivation of the 94th Engineer Battalion, the Army’s last all-Black unit, completed the process. Executive Order 9981 remains one of the crowning achievements of Truman’s eight years in office, a bold decision that pitted him against the southern wing of his party on this and other civil rights issues. But as postwar American society evolved, the armed forces became an important model for desegregation and equal opportunities for African Americans.
In 1998, on the 50th anniversary of Executive Order 9981, General Colin Powell, who later became America’s first Black secretary of state, spoke about the impact of Truman’s decision on his life: “The military was the only institution in all of America—because of Harry Truman—where a young Black kid, now 21 years old, could dream the dream he dared not think about at age 11. It was the one place where the only thing that counted was courage, where the color of your guts and the color of your blood was more important than the color of your skin.”